Insights on Building High-Impact Corporate Partnerships

Giving Compass' Take:
  • Here are three lessons on building high-impact corporate partnerships with nonprofit organizations for the long term.
  • What can donors do to strengthen these relationships?
  • Learn more about navigating nonprofit-corporate partnerships.

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In the nonprofit world, corporate partnerships are powerful. The concept may seem straightforward enough—a mutually beneficial relationship where a nonprofit receives funding to further its mission while a company contributes to a good cause aligned with its own philanthropic goals. Of course, the direct impact of funding is critical, providing nonprofits with resources that can strengthen programming, expand reach and build capabilities. But is the dollar amount a true measure of what makes a partnership impactful?

In my nine years at the helm of the National 4-H Council, I’ve learned that our most successful corporate partnerships are made stronger through the less measurable benefits of working together. Corporations can often provide fresh perspectives, expertise and brand recognition, all of which create a multiplier effect on a nonprofit’s ability to strengthen its mission and make a bigger impact on the audiences it serves. Whether you’re forging a multi-year partnership or a one-time agreement, creating a high-impact relationship is when the multiplier effect takes hold.

I have seen this firsthand: In 4-H, we have forged strong alliances that have existed for decades, as well as newer relationships that have generated immediate impact. I have found three characteristics that make the strongest partnerships: mission and values alignment, leadership engagement and local connection. These qualities result in a lasting impact on the organization, our people and the youth we serve, and can provide lessons to other nonprofits looking to do the same.

  • Take time to ensure both organizations are aligned on mission and values.
  • Engage high-level leaders.
  • Establish local connections.

Read the full article about corporate partnerships by Jennifer Sirangelo at Forbes.

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